Plattsburgh, N.Y.—Guessing his primary spot would be taken, Jesse Tacoronte went to his Plan B spot and took over the pro division lead at the Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Northern Open on Lake Champlain.
“Since I was the last boat (in the takeoff) I figured I would go to my worst water first but it turned out we were done there by 9 o’clock,” Tacoronte said. The Orlando, Fla., angler quickly caught his limit of smallmouth bass and culled to accumulate 21 pounds, 3 ounces by 9 a.m.
“I didn’t expect that quality of fish to be in that one spot because that was my ‘B’ water,” Tacoronte said. The rest of the day Tacoronte “dinked around” because he wanted to save the best spots he found in practice for the rest of the tournament.
“God willing those spots will be there for me tomorrow,” he said.
Tacoronte found a spot loaded with bait during practice Monday and he noticed the baitfish were still there the first competition day. “As long as the bait stays there the big fish will be there,” he said. Even though he is Boat 1 in Thursday’s takeoff, he plans to start again on his “B” spot since it produced so well.
Despite a long drive to reach Champlain and limited practice time, Adrian Avena still managed to catch a 20-15 limit to move into second place. Avena and his dad drove 30 hours from the Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year Championship at Mille Lacs Lake in Minnesota and made it to Champlain on Tuesday so the Elite Series pro could practice for four hours before the Open.
Avena relied on a junk fishing pattern that worked produced a victory for the Vineland, N.J., pro at Champlain in a Rayovac tournament in 2011. “It’s a grind,” said Avena, who had a mixed limit of smallmouth and largemouth. “I had a couple of really good largemouth bites and that‘s what you need out here are those kickers to put you over the top.”
The Elite Series pro had about a 10-pound limit by 10 o’clock and then started catching kicker largemouth. “From there on every hour I got a 4-pound-plus bite,” he said.
The rest of the Top 5 contenders in the pro division are Bryan Schmitt, Deale, Md., third place, 20-9; Scott Pellegrin, Eau Claire, Wis., fourth, 19-13; and Brett Carnright, Plattsburgh, N.Y. , fifth, 19-9.
Paired with Elite Series pro Carl Jocumsen, Robin Roystan caught a three-fish limit weighing 11-15 to take over the lead in the co-angler division. The 54-year-old retired logger from Bath, N.H., frequently fishes Champlain and was happy Jocumsen allowed him to catch bass on his favorite Champlain lure. “I got to fish my jig all day long,” said Roystan, who weighed in two largemouth and a smallmouth.
Hosting this week’s Northern Open is The Adirondack Coast Visitors Bureau (www.goadirondack.com). The launches and weigh-ins each day will be held at Dock Street Landing at 5 Dock Street in Plattsburgh.